Enjoying The Quiet

This is the time of year when I find myself looking for ways to be quiet and disconnect from the holiday hustle and bustle.

I find myself looking for quiet music. Holiday music runs the gamut from loud and boisterous to quiet and serene. There is a wide variety of options out there and if I am inclined I experiment a bit just to see what I can find.

This time of year RadioOnceMore’s holiday programming can be pure pleasure to listen to. For those of us who have listened to these shows for a long time, revisiting them is a touch of comfort programming. From Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Fibber McGee & Molly to The Lone Ranger and Dragnet, the celebration of the holidays reminds us of what used to be.

How does this extricate me from the hustle and bustle?

There comes a time when, like taking a vacation, changing what I am listening to or watching is as good as a vacation. Like baking treats that we don’t bake most of the year. While we might enjoy banana bread all year round, how often do we bake pumpkin bread? Popcorn might be a regular on movie nights but when was the last time you made popcorn balls?

So, I am looking for quiet changes to allow me to ease into the holidays and enjoy the experience without stressing over a list of Things I Need To Do By Christmas (and probably won’t accomplish on time…).

The neat thing is that I can do that holiday baking while listening to the music or radio shows… 😀


Musings · Old Time Radio · TV

Getting Comfortable With Upheaval

Of the Viewing Schedule

I won’t lie, I miss the good old days when there was an actual, reliable viewing schedule of the shows available on TV. I like the rhythm of knowing what I will be settling in to watch during the week. <sigh>

Don’t get me wrong, bingeing is an interesting alternative providing, of course, I can find something I actually want to binge. Not always easy.

I just spent some time catching up with Frasier (2023) on Paramount+ and had to check to see how many episodes I have yet to see. More than I thought… And I like this show! In some odd way, it could be said that I am hoarding those episodes…

There are some shows that I watch on the night they drop without fail. And those are few and far in between.

There are shows I used to watch on the night they were scheduled but this year, for all the reasons we all know about, that schedule has been shattered. I am looking forward to the return of many come February, but in the meantime…

December has always been a difficult time for scheduled TV because of all the extra programming. Holiday specials used to fill up the calendar but many of those have gone by the wayside. You can find them, of course, if you take the time to browse through your streaming platforms or delve into On Demand. Some networks have scheduled blocks of specials to break up the monotony of reruns.

Why is it the reruns we want to see are not the reruns we are able to see?

RadioOnceMore has already begun their December Holiday Special Programming. 24/7 old time radio shows. Check out their website for the schedule and where to listen.

The Kennedy Center Honors will air on December 3, 2023. I look forward to this every year and this year the winners list is awesome.

Off to add this to my calendar!

Around the House · Musings

The Zen of Doing the Dishes

By Hand

I’ve washed dishes by hand for most of my 6 plus decades. I did have a dishwasher for a few of those years, and I did enjoy it, but the truth is that washing dishes can be quite cathartic. The following article reminded me of this:

Forget Biohacking…

There is something powerful about taking the task of cleaning up the kitchen in hand and leaving behind clean dishes, counters, sink. It literally provides a clean slate for the next day.

And, to be honest, unless you, or someone in your house who cooks, is a person who uses every pot, pan, utensil, and dish every single day, it really does not take that much time.

Here is a great article explaining how to wash dishes by hand: Dishwashing Made Easy

While it may not sound as amazing as it is, doing the dishes by hand provides time to just be.

Classic TV · Musings · TV

Enjoying The Toons

Cartoons and Comics, that is!

If you have been around here for any length of time, you know how much I enjoy good cartoons and comic strips. Animation is an art that takes many forms. If you have ever found yourself watching a cartoon and being amazed at the beauty of the backgrounds, you are a kindred spirit.

If you have read comic strips for any length of time and found yourself caught up in the story, you are a kindred spirit, too.

These mediums are not just for children. Although as I contemplate the history of some of the makers involved in these classics, it is not difficult to consider that some of these folks were acting on their childish impulses. LOL!

I think you have to be less than Serious to make some seriously great cartoons.

I’ve watched Toon In With Me on MeTV ever since it debuted. What I have noticed lately is the improvement in the link segments. The segments between the cartoons. It often takes a while for a show to find its feet and there was a time when this show seemed to want to rely a bit too much on, shall we say, questionable characters and situations. A lot of that has been stripped away and the focus is on Bill, the cartoon curator, and his pal, Tooney the Tuna.

The show flows better, there is more to be interested in, and the overall experience is fun rather than <cough> attempts to be juvenile trying to be grown ups.

Comic strips are a great way to touch base with the funny and the wisdom of the ordinary. I have been introduced to new strips that have caught my attention and have found pleasure in returning to old favorites.

Sometimes it is a simple visit with Snoopy and Charlie Brown that can lift my spirits. Dropping in on For Better or For Worse reminds me of when the strip was brand new and the kids just growing up. Baldo adds a touch of humor and the kids are actually a pleasure to spend time with.

Personally, I find the daily touch base a great way to start my day.

Are you a comics or cartoon fan? What are your favorites?


Odds and Ends

Or, the occasional thoughts that run through my brain.

It is an odd thing to realize just how old you are. I know my actual age, it is impossible not to as it comes up regularly depending upon the situation, but to realize just how much history (!!!!) I’ve witnessed is occasionally shocking.

Don’t believe me? Wait a bit. <G>

When I was a kid, information was mainly shared via newspapers and magazines. Information as in how to do things. How to cook a meal. How to sew a pattern (many times the pattern itself could be found in a print publication). How to preserve food. How to grow food. You get the idea.

Yes, information was shared between friends and relations, often times via the mail if folks were not close enough to visit or phone.

Speaking of phones, we had one which was situated in the kitchen with a Very Short Cord (less than 6 feet if memory serves) and was used sparingly. Long distance was not cheap and folks did not spend a lot of time on their phones; there was work to be done.

Summers were an interesting combination of growing the garden and preserving what came out of the garden. Canning season. I hated canning season! My job was ring cleaner – the rings that go around the top of the canning jar holding the lid during processing. I was not allowed to prep jars, either. My mother took food preservation Very Seriously because she knew that one jar that wasn’t processed properly could literally kill you. As a result, she washed all her jars herself (no automatic dishwasher in our home) and she filled those same jars herself.

On the plus side, we had enough food to keep us fed for an entire year.

    Summer was Rerun Season. That time of year when, if you were lucky, you might catch an episode or two of the series you might have missed during the regular season. Might.

    It was also the time when us kids might actually get caught up in a good series or soap, like Dark Shadows, only to miss most of the year when we went back to school in the Fall.

    I loved being able to watch the game shows during Summer. There were lots of interesting people and games that were fun to play along with.

    Television was limited to 3 networks and, if you were lucky, you might be able to watch PBS if your UHS feed was good. Ours usually was pretty iffy.

    No cable. No Internet. No cell phones.

    I know for many people all of this is inconceivable. I also know that many people are looking to go back to something close to that old style of life.

    I heard someone say recently that she was “over entertained” when she related pumping gas and realizing she had left her phone in the car and was surprised to find herself ‘needing’ to be entertained for the less than 5 minutes it took to fill her gas tank. As she related this story, she talked about being deliberately aware of what was going on around her; cars going by, people chatting, kids playing, the weather.

    There is something to this idea of being over entertained.

    There really was life before all the tech and fancy machinery. It is worth investigating if only to understand how far we have evolved (although some would say devolved). It is also worth considering just how much connection is necessary.

    Sometimes life spent not running around to fill up the calendar can be more satisfying and productive.

    Food for thought.


    Adding A Bit Of Spice To Your Cooking

    Or How About Those Cooking Contests?

    For many, many years cooking contests have graced the pages of magazines, provided content for specialty publications, and even managed to add items to our favorite meal rotations.

    With the advent of the cooking competition shows, however, I think that the contests themselves have been overshadowed by bigger productions with more exuberant flashes in the pan. So to speak. Hey, if you like watching professionals run around with temper tantrums, go for it. I’ll pass.

    Back to contests. The annual state fair recipe contests are a staple but so are the contests held to bring attention to a brand or group. Magazines regularly hold contests to not only encourage readership but to add excitement for upcoming issues.

    Some of those recipes become family favorites. Some become springboards for new ideas. Some are just … astounding. Check out the Pillsbury Bake-Off site. They have every single winning recipe from the beginning of the competition, too!

    If you are interested in learning more about cooking contests, you can check out the latest by clicking on Calling All Contestants.

    There is more to these contests than just reading about the results. There is money to be made. If you love to cook or bake and have had some success at home, it is worth thinking about participating in contests. Click here for information and guidelines.

    I love watching the Great British Baking Show and I often learn about food items I’d never encountered before. I find myself curious to try my hand at some of the treats, too. For years I loved learning about the latest Pillsbury Bake Off winners. These folks create amazing and delicious food using items we can find at our local markets.

    No matter if you are a happy amateur who loves to try new recipes or a happy creator who loves to live a bit on the wild side and create your own recipes, cooking contests might be something you will enjoy.

    Happy cooking!


    Jeopardy! Who Would Have Thought?

    The iconic game show is undergoing an evolution.

    I was the kid who loved game shows that encouraged me to actually think. For me those shows were more interesting and captivating than any sports event. If you want to learn vocabulary, Password was your show. If you like learning things, or had a background in trivia, Jeopardy! was your show. It did not hurt that both shows taught a lot about language and culture, too.

    I have been a fan of Jeopardy! since Art Fleming was at the podium. That was way back in 1964. Whew!

    When Alex Trebek helmed the return of the show in 1984 little did we know how the game, and the show, would evolve.

    For many years, Jeopardy! was the daily to go for families who spent time together watching (and playing) the game. Alex was the familiar face of the guide to the game. Sadly, when he passed away the game not only needed a new host, it needed a bit of a boost.

    There are several new tournaments as part of the refresh to our old favorite. The latest is Jeopardy Masters. I have to admit I enjoy watching all of these incredibly talented players do their thing and watching Masters has been the equivalent to the Super Bowl.

    Now I’ve known about for a while now and find the site a great collection of information. You can catch up on the latest news, find out about today’s players, do the Anytime Test, check out merchandise, and dive into two podcasts about the show. Yes, two!

    It is the result of listening to the Inside Jeopardy! podcast that has brought me to this post. One of the topics of discussion has been the evolution of the game to what might be considered a sport status. WTF?!

    Jeopardy! as a … sport?

    High level competition. Earnings potential.

    I get it. I think. If you are interested in learning more, check out the podcast and see what you think. If you are interested in learning more about the history of the show, check out Buzzy Cohen’s This is Jeopardy! podcast. Both are available on the site.

    I enjoy settling down every evening to see who is playing and play along. The daily games are often quite captivating and I can usually manage not to totally embarrass myself. Too much. LOL! When the championships come along I enjoy watching my favorite players return to compete. I never walk away from a game where I did not learn something new. To me that is the greatest gift of these shows.

    Classic Game Shows
    • Jeopardy!
    • Password
    • Match Game
    • To Tell The Truth
    • What’s My Line?
    • Concentration
    • Let’s Make A Deal
    • Wheel of Fortune

    Inspiration or Eye Candy?

    Mr. Carrington recently visited the Chelsea Flower Show and brought us along for the ride.

    What a great visit!

    I have to give credit to Mr. C for reigniting my interest in plants. Thanks to him sharing is roof garden with his viewers, I found myself captivated by the possibilities and potential of my own deck area.

    Not everyone is born with a green thumb. I have a friend who seems to have 10 of them (even though I’d bet she would deny it). Her gardens are always beautiful and well cared for. Me? I do well to keep plants alive and I have no interest in digging up my yard. I have often had planters filled and kept them content, but other than that…

    The Chelsea Flower Show is an iconic item on many gardeners To Do Lists. I’ve seen a few professional gardeners visit the show and bring us along. Somehow, though, I never really experienced it as I did when Mr. C took us along. Perhaps it is because he focused on those exhibits that he found more interesting.

    What I can tell you is that even if you are not a gardener, but enjoy a bit of plant therapy, it is worth checking out – even if you only do so via video.

    Card Making · Crafting · Craftroom · Musings · Quilting · Scrapbooking · YouTube

    Craft Room Infusion

    Or, I really need to find inspiration

    This made my day!

    Great ideas, and a way to not only shop our stash, but discover what is in our stash!

    Speaking of our stash, if you don’t have a way of getting rid of items you no longer want or need, the link in the video should be helpful. I don’t have anyone near me who takes on craft items for reuse and I will be investigating that link for myself.


    Can I Share A Secret?

    Recently I came across a couple of comments from content creators that got me to thinking. On the surface, each came from the place where most folks spend their time, but when you pull back the curtain…

    Number 1: The Idea of ‘Modern’

    As in what is considered modern today. This creator was giving ideas on how to update your home to avoid it looking dated. The thought that occurred to me was that ‘modern’ is relative. What I mean is that when you do a bit of a history trawl, as in look back over the years, you will find the idea of ‘modern’ applies to each and every year going back millennia.

    Yep, those dated cabinets, carpets, drapery, furniture styles, clothing, you name it, was considered modern in the day they were produced. Every. Single. One. This was brought into focus and emphasized recently when I saw a walk through of a home built in the early 1900s and then saw a video walk through of homes in Pompeii and Rome. The same ostentatious design elements from two very different time periods that included color, art, size, and number of rooms.

    Yep, think about it. Few folks actually go out of their way to create homes that would be considered out of date (as in appliances that would not be usable today) but they choose to create homes using design aesthetics of a different era. The rest look at the newest appliances, fabric, cabinet design, etc. to create homes that by most standards would be considered modern. Fast forward 10 to 20 years and those homes will be out of date.

    Number 2: The Idea of ‘Perfect’

    It has been said that perfection is in the eye of the beholder, but I think that many times we let the idea of perfection get in the way of many things.

    Recently one of my favorite creators took us through his kitchen. This is a rental flat with the usual rental expectations when it comes to cabinetry, appliances, and pretty much everything else that comes with the flat. In other words, it isn’t ‘high end’. He said that he had put off taking us on the tour because of chipped countertops, well worn floors, etc.

    Here’s the thing; no home that is lived in is always perfect. There will always be opportunities with well used spaces in addition to the realities of living in a space. Toss in kids and or pets and perfection tends to fly out the window no matter how hard we work to corral and control the realities of life.

    Personally, I subscribe to the theory that my home should reflect me, not the latest trend on the Internet or the opinion of people who don’t live in it, pay for it, or take care of it. That means that the floors might need a sweep now and then, the cabinets could use a good cleaning and coat of paint, and, because I live with a fur baby, there will be fur not on the animal. I can’t really complain about her fur as mine tends to compete taking up space not on my head.

    Number 3: The Idea of ‘New’

    I think we tend to forget that nothing is really ‘new’ and everything has been done before, even if it might have been done differently. Sort of. It comes down to the idea of discovery. For many folks these ideas are new to them, so they are inclined to interpret them as new to everyone else.

    Food for thought, eh?